Iran and the Strait of Hormuz: varying levels of interdiction
Esquivel, James M
Johnson, Terry D.
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Iran's rearmament program has invited an array of interpretations of its current military capability to close or interdict the Strait of Hormuz (SOH) . The fighting in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), drove Iran's military forces down to minimal levels of equipment while increasing institutional disorganization. Air and ground assets ended the war in the poorest condition. Iran chose to rearm these forces first. However, in 1992, the focus widened to include the rebuilding of the Navy and those military assets physically near the Strait of Hormuz. This enlarged emphasis expanded Iranian military capacity to again challenge shipping transiting the SOH. With its new naval acquisitions, Iran is an increased threat to the interests of its neighbors and the West, particularly the United States. Now, the ultimate challenge for decisionmakers and strategic planners alike lies in accurately assessing the ability of Iranian forces to attempt to and, if possible, keep the Strait of Hormuz closed
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